Cycling in Spain is the best option for exploring the country. You will be amazed by all the landscapes Spain has to offer. Slopes crossing Spain will lead you to places rarely visited by tourists.
Why cycling in Spain?
Spain is abundant with roads for cyclists. From beginners to certified, people come to admire several beautiful landscapes. You can be amazed by the endless horizon of the sea, cycling surrounded by mountains, or cooling down in a shaded forest. Indeed, routes are paved along the coasts, through the cities, and atop cliffs.
Moreover, cycling in Spain is safe. You can enjoy your trip without sharing it next to other vehicles. A lot of bicyclers choose to take Via Verde instead. It allows them to appreciate Spanish scenery without hearing the sounds of an engine. Indeed, Via Verde or Greenways in English, are abandoned railways, used today as a trail for cycling and hiking. It’s over 2 700 km divided into 120 routes with variable lengths from 1 to 100. If we have already teased your curiosity, you can check at the Via Verdes website for more information.
Otherwise, this country hides other quiet roads where you can peacefully cycle. Indeed, the Caminos Naturales cover the Spanish countryside. These natural trails pass through canals, forests, farms and so more. Caminos Naturale’s website will provide you with all information you need to prepare for your journey.
If Spain is only the first step of your cycling trip, you can ride on Eurovelo. This huge network includes several paths throughout Europe. Even if it’s challenging, it’s a unique way to discover several countries. We recommend Eurovelo 8, which starts in Cádiz Spain and ends in Athens Greece.
So now, it’s up to your preferences. You can cycle in Spain by yourself, or with a small group led by a biking guide. You can focus on the mountains road or prefer the salty taste of the sea. To confirm your choices, here are the best places to cycle in Spain. Because as we said before, Spain is the keeper of beautiful cycling trips. They can range from easy to challenging but are worth the effort for the breathtaking views.
1. Cycling in Gerona Spain
Gerona is considered the best city to bike in Spain. Professional cyclists are attracted to Gerona as well as adventurous beginners. The old town makes an impression on everybody, due to its beauty and authenticity. Riding in the area will not be monotonous. In fact, the path is a perfect balance between the flatness of the city, the countryside’s vastness, and the ambitious climbs of the Pyrenees. Rocacorba, Els Àngels, and Mare de Déu del Mont ascents would give you challenging times.
If you’re also looking for great homemade Spanish meals, Gerona must be on your bucket list!
This region hosts unique cycling routes in Spain. You will cycle through beautiful cities such as Cordoba, Sevilla or Granada. Moreover, you will appreciate the scenery of endless mountains which stand in Andalusia, just next to the Costa del Sol coastline. Moorish architectures also decorate the landscapes you will see.
For the adventurous, la Sierra Nevada is home to Pico de Veleta and Caminito del Rey, the most beautiful Spanish cycle routes. Professional cyclists like to ride there for altitude training. Breathtaking after several pedal strokes, will you dare to take these roads?
If you like Andalusia, then cycling in southern Spain should be your first choice.
3. Asturias, Cantabria and the Picos de Europa
Asturias is a mountainous region in northeast Spain. Bicyclers often cross each other in the province on their way to reach Angliru. It’s one of the several valleys located 5 km away from Oviedo. A lot have tried to go atop but few have achieved this goal. The road to the Angliru is one of the hardest Spanish cycling roads. The climbs are steep but you will be rewarded with an outstanding panoramic view at the end of your trip.
If you aren’t ready yet for a Rocky type of journey, you can still go for Picos de Europa. Their names come from Columbus, who saw these European mountains for the first time after his trip to America. It’s an underrated pathway, bordered by unique rock formations. If you go to this area, you will cycle between the Lagos de Covadonga. These lakes lie up to 1000m high. At this altitude, the scenery is stunning and only a herd of cows will disrupt your tranquility. Several roads meander around the Peak of Europe but the Puerto de San Glorio is the best one.
Next to Asturias lies Cantabria. A region as wild as its neighbor. Cyclists always remembered the pathways in Cantabria, as much for their charm than their steep climbs. Los Machucos, the Peña de Carbaga, and Puertos Alisas & Ason are the most appreciated in the province. These roads are close to big cities such as Bilbao and Santander, which can be useful for cyclist logistics.
4. Basque Country
This region is unique. Located in France and overflowing in Spain, its landscapes are a reflection of both countries. Green hills are standing there, suspended in time. And sometimes white and red chalets are lying on the mountains, disturbing the soothing green of the scenery. The Basque country is wild, indomitable…. and occasionally submerged by the rain. This weather is typical of the north of Spain area. Cyclists should be careful about this and check the forecast.
This province provides the best roads for cycling in Spain. Some are designed for the boldest cyclists such as pathways to reach Col Inharpu, Monte Oiz, and Jaizkibel. Others are for beginners, who just want to breathe fresh air and enjoy the views.
If you want this moment to be unforgettable, we advise you to try the local food. The mix of two gastronomic cultures creates unique, tasteful meals.
And while you’re in this region, why not pass by Bilbao and San Sebastian? These beautiful cities are nearby and worth the visit.
5. Cycling in Costa Brava Spain
The only thing that you need to know is that Costa Brava hosts beautiful landscapes. This region starts on the French coast and disappears in the northeast of Barcelona. So, imagine yourself riding on those unspoiled coastlines. With the wind from the sea, you will have hours of sun-kissed enjoyment, while biking next to the waves.
A little tip from us, if you passed by Gerona or coastal towns such as Begur and Tossa de Mar, you will have easier access to Costa Brava.
There is another interesting road including the coastlines, named Pirinexus cycle route. It’s a 360 km loop that leads to Gerona landscapes, Costa Brava view, and the winding pathways of the Pyrenees.
This region of the south is also one of the best places for cycling in Spain. The landscape is brimming with roads for beginners and professionals. The climate is always mild, which attracts cyclists all year round. If you aren’t afraid to wear out your bike on steep climbs, then reaching the Col de Rates, Port de Tudons and Cumbre del Sol should be on your bucket list!
7. Cycling in La Rioja Spain
La Rioja hosts sceneries brimming with vineyards. The roads are calm and peaceful, perfect for unwinding during vacations. If your throat is dry, you can still stop for a wine tasting. Authentic, local beverages are specialties from the region.
Yes, it’s not really in Spain but we have to mention it! Andorra provides a playground for bold cyclists. Indeed, every year la Purito is organized in the country. It’s considered as the hardest ride, with 5,200 meters of steep climbs. If you can be there, we advise you to stay at least 2 days. Indeed, it takes time to reach the top of La Purito. Otherwise, you can climb to La Gallina, Col de Beixalís, Col D’Ordino, La Rabassa or Els Cortals D’Encamp.
Advice before cycling in Spain
In our previous article about cycling in southern Spain, we already mentioned important advice. It references the best time of the year to bike in Spain, the best traveling assurance to take, and the regulations, specific to the country. We will complete these notions here.
What is also important to think about before heading to Spain is your equipment. You don’t necessarily need the best bike on the market. But you have to make a choice: either you bring your own bicycle with you, or you rent it in Spain. Just keep in mind, if you chose the first option, you will have to carry your bike with you everywhere. You must take care of it during the plane check-in or move it from train to train around Spain. Therefore, the best option might be to rent it from a bike hire company. The enterprise will also provide you with all the other equipment you need. Helmet, GPS, gears, and even experienced guides!
Indeed, you can enrich your trip by biking side by side with an expert in the area. It can be through a private tour or a collective one. If you aren’t a lone wolf and prefer to share the experience with other people, this option can be really interesting for you!
Spain is packed with beautiful, unique slopes to satisfy everyone’s need for adventure. If you want to start your journey without any stress, organize your trip in advance!